Indonesia: Jakarta courts sentence innocent teenagers for murder, ignoring torture claims

According to Johanes Gea of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), the case against his clients was split into two criminal proceedings. Four of his clients – AP (13), F (14), FP (16) and BF (16) – had murder allegations against them examined in a juvenile court; whereas Andro (18) and Nurdin (23) are currently undergoing a trial in an ordinary criminal court. As previously narrated in AHRC-UAC-124-2013, AP, F, FP, BF, Andro and Nurdin, on 30 June 2013, were beaten and subjected to electric shock by officers of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police They forced the six teenagers and young adults to confess to the murder of Dicky Maulana.

LBH Jakarta reported that there are strong, factual indications that their clients are innocent. In a hearing in the juvenile court in South Jakarta, AP, F, FP and BF retracted their verbal statements to the police which stated that they had killed Dicky. Before the court, the four minors testified that the statements were made under threat and coercion by the police. No legal counsel was present when the statements of the four minors were taken.

Responding to the claims, the judges – Suhartono, Achmad Dimyati, and Suwanto – ordered the police officer who interrogated the four minors to testify. Without further investigation or examination, the judges accepted the policeman’s claim that the four minors had never been tortured or threatened.

In building his case, the prosecutor argued that the four minors – who are street singers – felt threatened by the presence of Dicky Maulana whom the prosecutor claimed was a new street singer in Cipulir. This argument is not plausible as Dicky was not a street singer. His parents confirmed this fact before the court.

The prosecutor claimed that Dicky was attacked by AP, F, FP, BF, Andro and Nurdin about 9.30 a.m. and died about 1 p.m on the same day. His assertion was that there was only a three-hour gap between the attack and the death. This did not match with the testimony from the forensic expert who said it would take some 8 hours for Dicky to pass away, given the wound he sustained. This information matches more with the finding of LBH Jakarta that Dicky was attacked around 3 a.m. on 30 June 2013.

In the trial, LBH Jakarta presented the court with a Facebook print-out conversation between IP and his friend, in which IP confessed that he was one of three men actually involved in the murder. However, the judges did not take into account this evidence which pointing to the innocence of AP, F, FP and BF. Then, in early October 2013, the South Jakarta District Court convicted the four boys, sentencing them to 3–4 years imprisonment. Despite the torture allegations raised by the boys, the judges chose to take into consideration the verbal statements made to the police under duress, instead of the testimonies given before the court.

An appeal was filed in the Jakarta High Court which, at the end of October 2013, reaffirmed the judgment of the District Court. There was no reasoning provided by the High Court judge, Sudaryati, in coming to her conclusion. A number of irregularities remain that need further investigation, one of which is the High Court judge examined and concluded the case in only seven days. LBH Jakarta is filing a final appeal to the Supreme Court.

Apart from the Jakarta courts, the officers at the Jakarta Metropolitan Police have ignored the evidence pointing out that AP, F, FP, BF, Andro and Nurdin are innocent. With the assistance of LBH Jakarta, IP came voluntarily to the Jakarta Metropolitan Police station to surrender himself. Yet the police have been reluctant in naming him as a suspect, claiming that ‘there is an ongoing proceeding in the court which they have to respect’. The police eventually questioned IP, but his current status in the case is ‘the interrogated’, which is not common under the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code.

IP has testified in the ongoing proceedings against Andro and Nurdin at the South Jakarta District Court. He has admitted, under oath, that he had been involved in Dicky’s murder and that AP, F, FP, BF, Andro and Nurdin are innocent. Despite IP’s confession, the prosecutor has called for 13 years imprisonment for Andro and Nurdin.